Life List Completer Danny Dover Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Danny Life List Dover
Danny Dover is my guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview is a man who was one of the first people ever to join up dots with me on the show.
Back on episode 11, we discussed his journey from a position where he was diagnosed as clinically depressed, overweight, with limited motivation, but knowing that he had to do something and do something fast.
And at those points in ones life when big changes are needed, so the big questions were needed to be asked.
Our guest did that by asking “Why Am I Here? and then started taking action.
His professional life began flourishing, his personal life improved, and after creating his own company, publishing his first bestseller “SEO Secrets”, presenting to crowds of interested folk who flocked to hear his message, he knew it was time to reevaluate once more.
He increased his focus on self development and happiness, and created his first “Life List” which quite simply he states “Was the best decision he ever made!”
How The Life List Started For Danny
Setting himself a target to achieve 150 things by May 25th 2017, he set off on an adventure which is nothing short of inspiring.
He lost 60 pounds, ran a marathon, sold/donated all his possessions until only owning less than 100 things, paid off all of his debts, became much more spiritual, visited all 7 continents, reconnected with friends and family and became happier than he had ever been before.
And with items such as flying a plan, being on a chat show, seeing Mt Everest, getting a six pack, and living in the wilderness for a month, being just a few items on the list you can see it is a stretch of belief, as much as perseverance.
But that is just one side of his story as his professional experience is also a wow too.
His expertise as a SEO expert, has been cited in Time Magazine, NPR, NBC, PC World and has been translated into over 10 languages.
He has spoken at Yale, the University of Washington and numerous conferences around the world.
According to analytics data, his written work has been accessed in almost every country in the world.
So where do we start…with the culmination of the bucket list adventure, or how he has gone from a demotivated guy, overweight and lost to a man who seems like he hits a home run every-time he swings.
Well let’s just start by bringing onto the show to start joining up dots the one and only life list expert Danny Dover.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Danny Dover such as:
Danny tells us how he has managed to find the time and money to achieve his life list, and you will discover it is more to do with subtraction and prioritising than anything else.
Danny reveals the big wins from completing his Life List (and they certainly what I was expecting) but so valuable to all of us.
We discover the big fact of how long it takes to get a six pack, and whether he has managed to cling onto it after achieving that aim.
Why we should all consider the power of attempting monthly life-lists of small achievable things occurring locally. Breaking lifes routine can be the quickest way to a life that is a wow!
How To Connect With Danny Dover
Return To The Top Of Life List
If you are inspired by Danny’s interview with us on Join Up Dots, then check out the first time he visited to carry on his amazing story here ,Lolly Daskal, John Livesay or Bushra Azhar
You might also like to listen to Ian Usher who sold his life on Ebay and then set off on his own 100 item bucket list.
Full Transcription Of Danny Dover Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes, hello. Good morning, everybody in the Join Up Dots land. Thank you so much for connecting with us and just being here with your ears with your lovely is but another conversation and it’s gonna be a good one today because today’s guest he was ever at the beginning. Yeah, he was back on episode 11. And he’s one of the first people ever to Join Up Dots with me. And on that time, we discussed his journey from a position where he was diagnosed as clinically depressed overweight, with limited motivation, but knowing that he had to do something and do something fast and at those points in one’s life when big changes are needed. So the big questions were needed to be asked. And our guest did that by asking why am I here and Ben started taking action. Now. The action really made his life begin to flourish and his personal life improved and after creating his own company publishing his first best seller SEO secrets, presenting to crowds of interesting folk who flocked to hear his message, he knew it was time to reevaluate once more, so he increased his focus on self development and happiness and created his first life list, which quite simply states was the best decision he ever made. Now setting himself a target to achieve 150 things by May the 25th 2017 he set off on an adventure which is nothing short of inspiring he lost 60 pounds, ran a marathon sold donated all these possessions until only owning less than 100 things paid off. All of these debts became much more spiritual visited all seven continents, reconnected with friends and family and became happier than he’d ever been before, with items such as flying a plane, being on a chat show, seeing Mount Everest, getting a six pack and living in the wilderness. This remember being just a few items on the list you can see it is a stretch of belief as much as perseverance. But that is just one side of his story as his professional experience is also a wow to his expertise as an SEO expert has been cited in Time Magazine, NPR, NBC PC World and has been translated into over 10 languages. He has spoken at Yale, the University of Washington, and numerous conferences around the world. Now according to analytics data he’s written work has been accessed in almost every country in the world go here. So where do we start with a combination of the bucket list adventure, or how he’s gone from a demotivated guy overweight and lost to a man who seems like he hits a home run every time he swings? Well, let’s find out as we start joining up dots with the one and only Danny Dover. Good morning, Danny. How are you sir?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [2:52]
I’m doing fantastic. Thank you for that introduction. That was so nice. What a wonderful way to start a conversation. Thank you.
David Ralph [2:58]
Well, I reember enjoying the conversation last time on episode 11. And it was one of those. In the early days of the show, I was very much in business spoke but you were somebody that really spoke to me because at that time I was taking the leap of faith and trying to do my own thing. And you was ahead of the curve. Looking back just over those three years. Are you a totally different Danny Dover? Are you the same person? What kind of person am I speaking to today compared to last time?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [3:27]
Well, happily, I would say that I am a different person today. I think that I’ve, I’ve learned a lot, largely through a lot of failures. And that is that has helped me create a new version of myself that I’m much more proud of.
David Ralph [3:38]
And it’s something that your friends and sort of relatives go Oh, Danny, we didn’t want to say anything but you was a miserable so and so last time. Wow, we really love it. Oh, and I still finding it a bit weird.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [3:51]
Oh, they’d most definitely find out that I’m weird. But I would love to say that they are weird themselves. That’s why we’re friends. So it definitely goes that direction. Now
David Ralph [4:00]
we’ve we’ve it one of the big questions, I want to speak about the life list first, because you’ve almost finished it and I was going up and down the list. And it seemed to me there was two left as I was scrolling up and down, one of them was being able to do a backflip from standing. And the other one, I can’t think off the top of my head. How do you manage to get so much time off work? This is a person because I know so many people want to do these kind of things. But actually the money and the time is prohibitive. Is it something that we look at the problems but but they’re not there is quite easy to do.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [4:34]
This is why I really like your show you just got right into the heart of this time and money. Those are exactly the two things that limit most people, myself included. To answer your question of how do I fit in all these life list items when I have those limitations, just like everybody else? The answer is that I spend a whole lot of time focusing on what I can subtract from my life. And I do this precisely so that I can fit in using the resources I filled that I’ve that I have have created or that I’ve freed up so that I can add other things to my life. So I am a very, very strong believer that addition is not possible in your life without some without subtraction. So I spent a lot of time really focusing on the subtraction, but you still have restrictions as in restraints, you know, some of the things that you’ve done that he’s been, you know, a while going off to Everest and doing all the seven continents. They’re not the kind of things that you can just do. They’re not weekend’s away where you can squeeze them in. So how have you managed it? You’re exactly right. So from a tactical financial perspective, the way that I’ve managed this is I have started a tiny company, which is a company of just me, I think that generally speaking the way that people approach business is they’re looking to maximise profits and grow, headcount and profit numbers and everything is out as quickly as possible. And I view business a different way. I certainly acknowledge that we need these hyper growth companies. That’s a large function of how our economy stays healthy, but I choose to create a business that is intentionally small, just produces enough profit to pay for the things that I think are important for my life. And I do this so that I can not manage people. And instead, I can have a lot of time freedom. So I purposely do not maximise my business and so that I can maximise the time freedom that it allows me that’s exactly how I do those, those items that you listed
David Ralph [6:23]
now on the list. I was going up and down. And I was thinking to myself, I don’t think I could even come up with some of these some some of these are, you know that they’re the brilliant things to have on the list, but we all go, Oh, yeah, I’d like to go to the top of Everest. I’d like to dive with sharks. I’d like to do all these kind of things. But you had some really bizarre stuff. Did you get given the ideas? Did you sort of say to people, what should I do because I couldn’t come up with that list. Well, thank
Life List Expert Danny Dover [6:48]
you. Yeah, there’s quite a diverse list. So what happened was, if rewind, I think about seven years at this point, I was going through a very, very tough part of my life. I was I was dealing with depression as you would mentioned. And I started to reach out. Honestly, I’ve had people starting to reach out to me, because I could see something was wrong. I didn’t really have any motivation to reach out to folks at that point. And I started asking him questions about what was making them happy or what was making the smile. And I was getting sort of generic answers, really, because those are kind of broad questions. And eventually, I stumbled upon the question of, tell me your favourite life story or tell me something that you’ve done that you’re proud of? And those questions those made a disproportional impact those, those are the kind of questions that when you ask people answering them, really they light up, their eyes light up, you can see it in their whole body, that they enjoy answering that kind of question. So from those experience that those other people had had, I got these lifeless items. So I did not ask 150 people. I don’t even think I knew 150 people or not well on that time. Instead, I just asked people these questions and some of them gave me multiple answers. And so that created the foundation for the list.
David Ralph [7:53]
And what are some ideas that you fall I don’t really fancy this myself or was every single one on that list something different We have actually a really, this is going to be a good thing.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [8:03]
Well, I don’t remember specifically, if there was I did not include, but there were certainly items I included, that I would not comfortable with. So for example, learning how to pick pocket that is on the list. And that was something that I felt very strange about. I’m happy to tell that story during the podcast or whatever you would like. But yeah, there were certainly items that I felt uncomfortable with, but all of them were areas of growth for me.
David Ralph [8:24]
Okay, so you brought up the pickpocketing? Is this how you fund it? Is this how you go about it? Danny, have we been through the matter?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [8:33]
Yeah, you’re lucky. This is the podcast that you’re not physically around me. So I can’t steal from you know, pickpocket is not how I fund this list, at least at this point. The story with that is that I spent a bunch of time trying to learn from other pickpocketers how to do that skill. It turned out to be much more mental than physical and turns out anybody can just unzip something, but it takes a lot of mental fortitude, to gain up the courage to actually do this. It’s something that doesn’t feel right. And so my body was very, had a visceral reaction to not wanting to do that. So I only did it once. I found somebody who was actually at a holiday party dressed up as a tourist. So the opportunity was perfect. I very quickly pickpocketed them, made sure that I had gotten away and then went back and gave them back their objects. And it actually in a kind of a funny turn of events, they thought that they had dropped the objects of their wallet with credit cards and cash in it. And they offered me a reward for finding employment. Of course, I turned that down. But quite the credit, the crazy experience,
David Ralph [9:33]
say Well, I think my wife will never be a pickpocket. She won’t unzip anything. I’ve realised this now, Danny, I’ve got a problem here. She’s never going to be a pickpocket.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [9:42]
I don’t think I can help you with that problem. But the best of luck.
David Ralph [9:45]
Thank you, that’s gonna be on my life list that’s gonna be on my life as well. We’re not going to be speaking about life list all the time. We’re going to go back and forth. But is it really because it seems to me but it’s a mental aspect as he was talking about the pickpocketing Mental belief that you can do this the mental belief that you will achieve it all those kind of things that we talked about in Join Up Dots, it seems that if we didn’t call it Join Up Dots, we will probably have called it life list because it’s all those different sort of moments in life, but you have to push through to get, is it one of those things that you look at it and you go Yeah, is not only building a business life list, everything is more mental than anything else.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [10:27]
Absolutely. So have a key few examples for this. So the first one is just running your own business, or running. running your own business is hard for many, many reasons. But two that come to mind is that you don’t have a lot of feedback, which for me, personally is very difficult because I can’t improve unless I have some kind of feedback. And with the business many times you’re just talking out into the void or solid out into the void and you don’t have any feedback and I find that difficult but you learn to just keep doing it and keep doing it and every once in a while you do get some feedback. The second part of that is that you never have enough information to to Like, make the decisions that you need to do. And this goes for, for my small business. This also goes for when I’m travelling in a country where I don’t speak the language. There’s lots and lots of times in my life when I don’t have enough information or the information, I need to make a decision, but I have to make the decision anyways, that is clearly all mental. And that is really, really tough. But something that at this point, I’ve done so many times, that at least I’m directionally good at it, but doesn’t mean I’m good at it every time. But more often than not on a good day. I can make I can go in the right direction. Now, the boy, the boy is fascinating for so many reasons. I was having a conversation with my wife earlier and I was talking about the period of Join Up Dots time when I was just blasting it out every single day and not getting an email or a comment or anything back and it was just kind of blind faith. Now you said there that you you struggle with that lack of feedback.
David Ralph [11:53]
Do all businesses have to go through that period? We talked about, you know, Seth Godin for dip To say it says you should want the void the void. Well, you’re not getting anything back. It’s just quiet time.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [12:05]
I don’t know if all businesses run into this. There may be some exceptions. But I think that most businesses run into this. I think, in my life, I call this the crawling out of obscurity period. And I’ve experienced in many different aspects of my life. And I imagine other folks have as well. I don’t know of any shortcuts there. I think that you just kind of have to use grit and get through it. And just just keep going. I really don’t have better like a better way of handling this pretty tough situation. It’s the hardest thing isn’t it when you’re just doing something and you’re doing it to your best of your ability? And I think in online world, it’s probably harder because you build a brick and mortar business more often than not you will get customers come in and there’s a interaction that personal element, but in the online world is very difficult. It can be very social, but it can be very lonely as well on it. It sure can. I remember when I first started my blog that the first few books posts were read by friends and family. And then probably the next 30 blog posts were barely read by anyone, maybe someone who typed in the wrong like URL into their browser. And it wasn’t until much later that I started to get any kind of real following.
David Ralph [13:12]
Now I was reading the live list because one of the things that was interesting on there that I’ve never seen, it was the monthly life lists. And I always been called the big bold things as we’ve been talking about. But these were kind of very subtle things that, that I looked at it and I thought, Yeah, I do this, I do this. And I noticed it was April 30 2017 was the the life list that I was reading the monthly one. And that was the 30th anniversary of Join Up Dots that day, we went live. And then when I went back and looked for other life lists, I saw that you were talking about stopping them back in 2015. And saying, you know, as your words were on the on the blog, this is just fluff. I’m not getting any engagement. So I’m going to stop these. I think they’re brilliant, and I think this is what the world has been Waiting for a kind of mini adventure, the ability to just do something differently go to a different town just because it’s up the road, just do the small things that will make it a weekend different. That is a big piece, isn’t it the monthly life lists.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [14:14]
David, have you been reading my inbox? This was this was kind of kind of freaky. So yes, I’ve I don’t remember what year it was. But I did try to stop that series because I was not getting any engagement that I could see from it. And so I wrote that kind of just in passing that comment on the blog post that I think I’m gonna stop this I don’t think this is actually working this referring to just the monthly life list, blog post I was writing. And I got a wealth of emails from that from people who I had no idea that they were they’re accessing the blog. I think that what was happening is that they were reading the emails, so I couldn’t see that in my traditional analytics, as opposed to them actually going to the website and reading it. So yes, I think that happily, these have been making a positive impact on people. And I think that yes, people really do it in firewood, having these bite sized items that they can do every single month and While basically nobody ever comments on these blog posts, they get lots and lots of reads. And I think they are making a positive impact on a lot of people. Well, I’m
David Ralph [15:08]
certainly going to do it because a couple of weeks ago, Danny, it was a really rainy national holiday in the United Kingdom, and we’re all sitting in the house. And my wife said, Come on, let’s get out. And I said, Oh, should we get out? It’s rainy, it’s miserable. And we decided to go to our local town, download a treasure hunt off the internet that we paid six pounds for, and follow these clues around a town but we’ve been to hundreds of times in our life, but you just saw it in a different way. And it was brilliant. It was brilliant. It was just totally different. It cost us six pounds, and a bag of chips or a bag of fries as you would have. And then we came home saying what a good afternoon and that is the ability to break the routine. That’s what you’re doing, which I think is so powerful the ability to look at life a different way, but it doesn’t have to be bold and spectacular is just different from what you’re doing. Yeah, I’ve
Life List Expert Danny Dover [15:56]
had similar experiences to a with my girlfriend. I went on a food tour. In Seattle, which the city I grew up in, and I’ve been to the, you know, I’ve been around the city many, many times. And by just changing my routine a little bit and doing this food tour that was very inexpensive. I learned a lot about the city and I got to enjoy a lot of great food that I didn’t even know existed. So I think there’s a misconception that all travel needs to be foreign. And I think that that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. I think that there’s a lot you can learn in your own town just by shifting your perspective a little bit.
David Ralph [16:24]
Know your SEO expertise. Has that blossomed as your online presence blossomed because of that, or has your SEO expertise blossom because of the the online work? You’re doing that sort of lifeless, chicken and egg time what sort of came first?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [16:42]
Well, the SEO work that I was doing did come first, but I actually don’t think that helped me very much with my blog or with my, with some of the tasks that I was doing. That was what helped me fund that at the beginning of the project. But I very, I do very little SEO today, and I think If anything came from the blog, wire, anything that was very powerful and useful, it was more me reaching to be authentic and trying to be real with people. I think that made a much bigger impact and then the resulting word of mouth spread, as opposed to any SEO tricks I may have used at the beginning.
David Ralph [17:16]
But let’s play some words now. And then we’re going to delve back into the journey that you’ve been on visa words that was set by Jim Carrey a couple of years ago, we play him almost every show, Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [17:26]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you
David Ralph [17:52]
love. And he Dover those words were written for you Well,
Life List Expert Danny Dover [17:56]
you know, that was great. I’ve never heard that speech or that that excerpt from from Carrey that’s that’s really interesting. I have never thought about it in those terms. Exactly. But I think that I I’ve certainly resonate with this concept of life is quite short, you might as well make it worth living. So I think that by, by being put in a difficult situation earlier on in my life, it forced me to move in a direction that I’m actually in hindsight, much more proud of, I think I’ve been able to write a much more interesting and more worthwhile life story as a result of that transition and going in that direction.
David Ralph [18:30]
Well, you have but what interests me Danny is, why are you different from millions and millions of other people that are slumped on the sofa watching Netflix every day, moaning about their lot? What was different about you? Why did you shake yourself up from that? That mire and get going?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [18:49]
Well, I’ve thought about this question a lot. And I don’t know a precise answer here. But there’s two general themes that I see. One, I think is early support. So I did have some support. not financially, unfortunately, but certainly emotionally from my friends and family at the beginning. And that made an impact that that helped me build a foundation where I could start to gain what I now call outlier status. And the second part of this was just persevering. I’m quite a stubborn person. And then that actually has worked quite well for me if, if, if I’ve anything that resembled a superpower, it’s just my perseverance. I can fail many, many times and keep going. And I think that’s really what’s really enabled me to get any kind of distance.
David Ralph [19:30]
But that’s what Steve Jobs says in another speech that we play occasionally that I think it’s not so much about talent, it’s perseverance that that is the key thing to everything so you would say that you know, is it right sometimes to give up your your bloody minded you’re stubborn, Mr. Dover? Is it sometimes right to just go it’s not working and walk away from it? Or can you always breathe life back into something?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [19:56]
I think it’s important to take in new information and use feedback. loops and change course. But I don’t necessarily see it as the same thing as giving up. So I think pivoting is appropriate. But I, I try as much as possible not entirely give up. So I’ll change focus but not not drive. Is that just
David Ralph [20:14]
so of my old words? Is that something that a listener would really buy into or what they go, Oh, it’s alright, you can save that because he’s achieved but if he’d fallen flat, and you know, you spent a month in the wild, and you grew an amazing beard, that would take me probably 15 years, and then I’d have to borrow it from someone. And you look terrible. You really did. And as I was sort of reading about it and looking at you, I was thinking about that that awful film called I think it was called the wild where the guy went up to Alaska and died in a van and it was just dreadful. Did you sort of look at that and think to yourself, this is a bad idea. You know, why? Why did you feel like you had to sort of push it to that degree because in a world is it’s hard if you’re not used to it.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [21:00]
Tell me about it. It was hard. So the, the person you’re referring to is a man named Chris McCandless. So I had, I was a big fan of that book and in the resulting movie, and I made a key distinction earlier on that, whereas it sounded like he went up there. And this is my theory. I don’t know if this is true, but it sounded like he was ready to go, he was ready to die. Whereas when I went out in the month of aloneness, I just told myself, there’s no way you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die. You are coming here to be healthy, to be safe and to get through this experience. And that’s exactly what I ended up doing. But I think that it was really the key difference there in mindset and the end goals, certainly that that made all the difference in that experience.
David Ralph [21:40]
And then what did you take with you? Did you just, you know, in that film, he basically just sort of stumbled in to Alaska went as far as he possibly could and men lived on voles and a horrible stuff. Did you sort of take Amazon vouchers so that you could all do in and different things? What did you do
Life List Expert Danny Dover [21:59]
shoot, I wish you would have thought of that before I went up there, that would have been a lot easier. I took basic survival gear, I took no electronics except for a emergency beacon in case I got in a lot of trouble. That’s the only thing I hadn’t been any electricity was just that emergency beacon. I brought just the bare amount of food that would need to survive from a calorie and nutrition perspective. So that ended up being just rice and beef jerky. And then I kept everything else quite limited. I didn’t have a tent and didn’t have a sleeping bag, nothing like that. I just very, very simple, very minimalist. And where
David Ralph [22:30]
will you’ve been in use in America somewhere where you imagine?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [22:34]
Yes, I was in the United States. I was in the state of Idaho out in the wilderness. I think about 60 miles from really anything.
David Ralph [22:43]
I think I would have chosen Florida or somewhere like that. That would have been a month in Florida. That would have been fine. Well, what what did that because I had a guy on the show who basically went and lived on an island on his own for two years and he literally became friends. With the native Indians it was it was a real kind of Dances with Wolves story that this guy was telling me. And he said, once again, it wasn’t the isolation. It was the sort of the dreams, it was the visions. He He’s mine ran away with him when he was out there just because of the silence. Did you have the same kind of experience?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [23:21]
Well, first, let me say that two years is very different than the month that I did. So congrats to that person for for making that happen. That’s quite the accomplishment.
Unknown Speaker [23:29]
I did have
Life List Expert Danny Dover [23:32]
not visions per se, but I had a lot of time to reflect. I had a nice experience where I went through and thought about every teacher that I’d ever had. And I was able to spend hours on this because I had nothing else to do. And that was a nice experience. And then I think as a result of the lack of calories and the isolation, I also did run into a lot of hallucination. So mostly audio based, but there were there was one or two visual hallucinations. Well,
David Ralph [24:00]
tena, she can’t just stop there. Danny, you tell us these weird things. So So what? What kind of audio things did you hear first of all,
Life List Expert Danny Dover [24:08]
so that so the things I heard were English language from the forest. So this would be sounds that vaguely sounded like words that were coming from animals or leaves or whatnot. And then I’d heard my name pretty often I imagine that lots of people have experienced that they just think they hear their name somewhere, or at least I hope other people experience that I certainly do. And then the visual one was actually kind of weird. So I was walking through the forest I was most definitely alone. And I saw very clearly a person dressed in camera like military camo outfit, crouched up against a tree sort of in a defensive position, sort of sort of looking at me but a bit aggressive looking. And I looked at that what I thought was the person I looked away and I looked back, after kind of jumping back startled, and then realised that there was nobody there and that I was kind of going a little crazy. So I went down and just like sat down for a little while and just kind of took it easy and tried to come back to Reality a little bit.
David Ralph [25:00]
And then could he not have been there? Could he just not moved quickly? You know, some kind of SEO, not SEO camouflage ninja guy,
Life List Expert Danny Dover [25:08]
probably it’s very unlikely when I look back there were bushes, but there weren’t, they did not look like a person and I’m not sure where this person would have gone or what this person would have been doing. I’m, I’m in hindsight, quite sure this person didn’t actually exist.
David Ralph [25:20]
I have visions that Katy Perry is coming towards me sometimes I don’t know if that says the same kind of thing, Danny?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [25:27]
No, that sounds different and actually more enjoyable than what I experienced.
David Ralph [25:32]
So so out of all of it, what is the thing that will live with you? Because I know those hundred and 50 things there must be some that you’ve almost forgotten that you’ve done.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [25:41]
There certainly are. There’s been some items on the list that have been forgettable that have not been particularly fun. But what is going to live on that I have a strong answer for that is the people that I’ve met. So the list items have been great and some of them have actually been amazing. But the theme that I’ve seen throughout this is that I gain much more from gain much more fulfilment from the people that I meet and the experiences that I have with other folks than any of the accomplishments or activities that I’ve done.
David Ralph [26:08]
I had a guy on the show, and he’s been on the show a couple of times as well called Ian, Ian Asher. And many years ago, he was very, very depressed. So he sold his life on eBay. And he sold he’s friends, he sold his house, he sold his job, he sold everything on eBay, and got the money. And then Disney bought his story and said, This is wonderful. We’re going to make it into a Tom Hanks film. And they gave him I don’t know, million pound or whatever. And I never ever made the film, but he bought an island, and he bought an island and then he sold the island and it’s all kind of very small things. But it’s the bold decision right at the beginning. It all kicks off on that first stage. And I find it amazing, but your life can so dramatically change from just doing that one thing as long as you join it up with something else.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [26:57]
Yeah, we, first of all, that’s an amazing story, and I want to Learn more about that. Second of all, I have this general idea that I’m formulating that. I think that the if people have anything like a programming language, I think it’s habits. I think that habits are really the way that you can change your life, changing your habits changes your life. And so I really try to put a lot of emphasis on that I actually, I just wrote a new book, it’s called the minimalist mindset explains the how, and explains the habits I did to enable this life list items for my for my life, and then the focusing on subtraction to make so that I can add these things to my life. Those habits, I think, are really key. And it sounds like maybe this person had a change minds and mindset and then was able to implement habits to be able to accomplish these pretty amazing things you’re talking about.
David Ralph [27:41]
I’ve started reading you were kind enough to allow me to have a free copy of your book and I started reading it and I am great, the subtracting I love the thought of having a minimal life. The fact that the less I have to spend on the more money that I’ve got, it just seems common sense to me but the world is all About consumerism, isn’t it? But where if you can take all that away, you can have a simpler, more relaxed life. It just seems common sense to me.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [28:08]
Yeah, I think it’s hard though I think, like the example that I like to use if you want to add something like learning a foreign language to your life, I think lots of people do that. And they focus. And in fact, I’ve done this too. I focus on Okay, what am I going to add to my life, I’m going to need to take some lessons, I’m going to have to probably find a tutor, I should probably download the newest greatest app so that I can do the flashcards or whatever. But I found that in order to be successful with adding lots of things your life, the better route that you can do is focusing on what you need to subtract in order to make that happen. So in this case, it may be you know, what am I going to sleep less so that I have more time to study I might spend less time with friends and family so that I can so I can spend more time practising all those things are very hard trade offs. But if you can figure out those trade offs, maybe you lessen your commute or you do something to make this fit it in those those eight areas of subtraction I think of where I’ve been able to be more successful rather than than just trying to add in Mad Mad
David Ralph [29:00]
and what would you not subtract what is Danny Dover’s limit where it goes now I’m not losing that that is integral to me.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [29:08]
What took me a long time to come to this conclusion and finally learn this, but the things that I will not subtract his time with my friends and my family, and travel, those three, those three things are things that I just don’t budge on. I, they’re too important to me they are the way that I want to spend my life is with these people who are important to me and experiencing new things out in the world.
David Ralph [29:29]
I can understand friends but family more often than not we try to keep away from him. Normally, we would just we’re forced into the family set up.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [29:37]
That’s true. I mean, there there are some family members of mine more extended family that I don’t get along with, but my immediate family I do get along with and then let’s take it a heck of a lot of work to get to that point. But but I think it has been worthwhile work.
David Ralph [29:50]
And what we’re talking about really is it’s the simple things in life that makes the big difference. And by focusing on the simple life, it’s It’s almost like you’re saving your pennies so that you can be more generous. My wife always says to me, you’re so tight, you’re so tight, and I go, yeah, I’m tight. So Ben, I can be generous. And that’s how I sort of operate. I won’t spend a lot on silly stuff, where she’s quite happy to go, Oh, it’s only $5 and it’s only $5. And at the end of the month, she spent $1,000 and got nothing for it. So it is the simplistic thing that seems to appeal to you
Life List Expert Danny Dover [30:24]
very much. It actually sounds like you already have the minimalist mindset that you are prioritising things that are important to you. By D. prioritise D, prioritising things that are not important to you.
David Ralph [30:35]
Now the book that you’ve written is a great read. And I think I’ve got a pre copy. But where can people get it because it is is a game changer. And it’s quite simple advice in there. From what I’ve seen so far.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [30:46]
I appreciate that. Thank you very much. And the reviews that have started to come out have also been quite good. So I’m feeling very excited as a two year process to write this book so hard to get to the finish line. It’s available may 9 from all major bookstores, online and offline. It’s called the minimalist mindset. Probably the the least expensive place to get it would be Amazon, I imagine. But please feel free to shop around and get the best deal that you can.
David Ralph [31:09]
And then what kind of person will really gain a lot from this Danny, as it spoke to me because I’m that kind of person anyway, but what kind of person would you really like to pick it up?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [31:19]
Well, I think that anyone who is ambitious and wants to be able to add more to their life, I think this is a good fit. And I think that anybody who’s interested in this broader move of minimalism, which is really a priority, prioritisation movement. If you have any interest in those things, I think this might be a good fit for you.
David Ralph [31:36]
Okay, so let’s take it sort of full circle again, which we do on Join Up Dots. We take it in all different directions when you have finished 150. Is it possible that there’s another hundred and 5010 years down the line? Could you see yourself doing this again?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [31:52]
Well, I will certainly continue to do life list items, but I don’t think I will do it in such a formulaic way. I need Did this formatted list with a deadline that I tattooed on me, I needed all of those things in place in order to build momentum. But I have momentum at this point. So I will continue doing these projects, these life list items and pushing myself and these finding, doing these new experiences. But I won’t do it in the same way that I’ve done in the past,
David Ralph [32:18]
if I find you a fascinating character, because in many ways, you’ve got the success that people want. But in many ways, it’s almost you don’t want that you’ve got that success so that you can just live a life of no success,
Life List Expert Danny Dover [32:30]
perhaps a life of no access. I think I’m always trying to be more successful by the way that I define success. I always want to be including more people that I care about. I want to be doing more of these adventures and experiences. But I certainly don’t have more figured out than that. I that’s about as far as I as I know.
David Ralph [32:52]
And what what is your definition of success mean? If you’re laying on your deathbed and somebody says to you, were you successful, Danny in your life, were you successful? Could you sort of explain what it was? Or for
Life List Expert Danny Dover [33:05]
me, success is how I feel about my own life story. So I will do myself successful if I can look back on my life and feel proud about the life story that I’ve written.
David Ralph [33:16]
You have very good answers, don’t you? Have you been asked these questions 1000 times before? It’s like, it’s like soundbites, you come back with.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [33:24]
Oh, I appreciate that. Uh, I would say that you are an unusually good Interviewer And about half the questions that you’ve asked me or been new. About half of them are things that just need to get covered in order for my story to make any kind of sense. And so I have heard about half of these but good job on the on on beat over 50% that is quite impressive.
David Ralph [33:43]
Ah, there you go. That’s what we do. That’s why we had you back. Next time in another 700 shows up even better, I’m gonna go to 60% What about that?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [33:52]
You’re doing great. You’re doing great. I have been happy in that I’ve done I’ve had the opportunity to do a few of them. He’s quite a few of these, and many of them are, are very surface level. And I don’t think particularly actionable. And I think that your show is different in that way, I think that you’re much better about not accepting the fluffy crap answers. And much better about let’s dive a little bit deeper than that. Let’s get into the heart of what we’re actually talking about here. Let’s drive this home with real action that can apply to normal people, as opposed to just
David Ralph [34:23]
fluff. I appreciate that. And let’s play some words that really aren’t fluff. These have to be on the show every time you probably heard them last time, but let’s hear them again, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [34:33]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny life karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [35:08]
Now, you’ve probably heard those words on episode 11. But I’m a word spirit become more true to you because you’re creating that path, you are moving forward with the trust and the faith and the intuition.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [35:21]
I can very strongly say absolutely, that is absolutely true. In fact, I was paraphrasing that very same quote yesterday, outside of the context of anything that we’re talking about is something I’ve only learned to be more true as I’ve experienced more in my life.
David Ralph [35:36]
And then why do you think that every single person bar one on the show has said yes, I totally buy into that. Because everyone on the show is an action taker is moving forward, they are creating something, but if I play that to the man in the street, I will probably think it’s sort of simplistic Hocus Pocus somehow.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [35:57]
Well, I don’t know. So that speech is very popular online. And I think the reason it is is because he has a lot of truth in there. And I think that has resonated with I don’t know, the actual view counts, but I assume millions of people, certainly hundreds of thousands of people. So I think that humanity does understand this general concept, but it is a different thing to take action on that concept. So I think everybody’s getting the former but I think less people are have the motivation, the drive and support to do the actual take the actual the action,
David Ralph [36:29]
and then what would be your big dot Vin. Danny, when you look back over your laughs three years from the last time he was on the show, what has been the big doc that has moved you to where you are now?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [36:41]
Well, I’ll tell you exactly what that is. But it’s still when I say it sounds cheesy on it’s something that I believe but I perhaps I just need a better way of explaining this. But the aspect that made the biggest difference in my life that really changed. My trajectory was to fully and uninhibited Lee commit myself To a purpose. So in this case is my life list I, I made that the entire purpose of my life kind of arbitrarily I picked this goal, which is to finish this list. And that drastically changed my life for the better. It is that simple decision right there, even though arbitrary, just choosing a purpose rather than the purpose itself made a very, very, very important difference in my life.
David Ralph [37:23]
And it was there might be two things on that life list that you think to yourself, you know, everyone should do this. This was such a wow, this was such amazing, or are they all pretty much specific to you? We don’t again, the same things do you have to be the right person in the right place?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [37:41]
Well, I think the items themselves were very, the experience was very individualistic for for me. But I think some of the general trends here would apply to more people. So for example, travel and that can be however you don’t want to find it foreign or domestic. That I think is something that’s beneficial for essentially everybody. You can learn a lot about yourself by looking through the worldviews of other people. So I think travel Most definitely. And I think this general concept of just trying new things is actually the same thing as just trying on new worldviews. I think that is a beneficial thing to all people, as far as I can tell, but the individual items, no, those I think, are quite individualistic. I can tell you the ones I enjoyed, but I don’t I can’t guarantee the same results for everybody.
David Ralph [38:20]
And what’s the number one thing when you look back over all of them? What was the one that you go? Yeah, that was real. That’s that was a home run? The one?
Life List Expert Danny Dover [38:28]
I don’t think I have an answer to that question. Certainly, the living abroad, made the biggest impact on me, but that’s not a that’s not a specific item, unlisted. There’s several list items that fit that criteria. But when I when I finally made the leap, and I lived in the country where I didn’t speak the language and when I first got down there, I didn’t know anybody. And I was able to live through that experience, meaning survive, and eventually do alright, that made it really really wonderful impact on my life. So why that was not an item Perhaps that is item I recommend that other people add to their own list is to live in a country where you don’t speak the language and just see if you can make it through the experience.
David Ralph [39:05]
Absolutely. And just before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic, to get the words of wisdom that you share with your younger self, the question I want to know, I really want to know this more than any other getting a six pack. Did you get a six pack and uh, have you still got it? Or is it now flabby time
Life List Expert Danny Dover [39:25]
my girlfriend will will agree with this that it is closer to flabby time than it was at the six pack time. The six pack took I think about two years for me to get and I’m a pretty disciplined person but my body was just not cooperating with me on that one or perhaps my mind was not cooperating with me on that one. That one took a very long time. I kept it It took the photos that I needed. And then I ended up losing over the course of a few months so I’m in okay shape down but not six back shape.
David Ralph [39:53]
Oh, I’m glad you sit that down and you you you would have alienated all our audience. Because this is what we want. We want a little bit more Mind flap don’t wait is it just means that we’re comfortable with life.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [40:04]
You know, I’ll put it like when I did have the six pack, I got cold a lot, because there I had very little body fat. So I’m a lot more comfortable on a day to day level now that I have like a reasonable amount of fat back on my body. So that’s something that’s something make us all feel better.
David Ralph [40:18]
Yeah, I suppose that’s why you never see an Eskimo with a six pack, I suppose.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [40:22]
No way. I mean, our bodies been a whole lot of time through the process of evolution, so that we could gain this ability to store fat in the ways that we do. And so I want to take advantage of that. Yeah, absolutely.
David Ralph [40:33]
Well, this is the bit of the show that we’ve been building up to this is a bit Part A we call it a sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back and speak to the younger Danny, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because we’re going to play the theme and when it fades up, this is the Sermon on the mind.
Unknown Speaker [41:00]
The first bit of the show
Unknown Speaker [41:04]
Life List Expert Danny Dover [41:15]
18 year old version of Danny, you probably are not going to listen to me. But in the very small case that you actually do, I want you to know that there are many, many things that you can add to your life. But where you’re going to find the most gains and we’re going to be most effective is focusing on what you can subtract from your life. In order to do this, you’re going to need to start prioritising, and you need to realise what’s important to you. And you’re gonna need to experiment in order to figure out who and what is important for your specific goals. But in order to be successful with that, in order to make success in order to go forward, you’re going to need to figure out what you can remove in your life. I think very happily that we live in a world of abundance. But in order to take advantage of that your need to know what, what to get rid of and how to prioritise things appropriately
David Ralph [41:59]
and he wants to know number one best way that our audience can connect with you.
Life List Expert Danny Dover [42:02]
The best way to connect with me is to visit life listed comm you will find way more information than you’d ever want to. And if you’re interested in the concepts in any of the habits that I’ve talked about, check out the book, the minimalist mindset. It’ll be available may 9, in basically all major bookstores have over links on the show notes. Danny, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back even more when you have more dots to join up again, because I believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Danny Dover. Thank you so much. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate the opportunity. And thanks to all the listeners for spending your time listening to us ramble on. We both quite appreciate it. Thank you very much.
David Ralph [42:46]
Danny Dover, what a man what a man eats. He’s not just making things happen. He’s making things happen around restrictions and stuff. And we also Oh yeah, we do about on Friday or when we do. He’s just looking at what needs to be done and finding a way Kind of easing into position so he can do but go over to his website. There’s the links on the show notes, but it’s life listed.com and have a look at what he’s been getting up to feel inspired and perhaps do the monthly lifeless, I’m gonna certainly do that. Because the stuff that every single one of us It doesn’t matter where we live on earth will have these kinds of things, draw a picture, go for five k walk, donate something you don’t use, send a nice unexpected email, all kinds of little things. So I’m going to start working through those and see what I can come up with. But until then, of course, all my life list is going to be recording another episode of Join Up Dots and we will be back very shortly
with the next demon doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.